W. Caleb McDanielSep 20, 2013
The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery
Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform
Louisiana State University Press 2013
How could members of a movement committed to cosmopolitanism accommodate nationalism? How could men and women committed to non-resistance reconcile themselves to politics when the authority of even democratic polities depended ultimately upon the threat of force? How could activists committed to equality -- the essence of democracy -- deny that the democratic process produced policies that were manifestly unjust? Those are some of the main questions that animate W. Caleb McDaniel's important book The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform (Louisiana State University Press, 2013). The most deeply research study of the transatlantic networks of the radical antislavery movement to date, it raises questions about the tensions between cosmopolitanism and nationalism, peace and violence, and means and ends that continue to bedevil those struggling to achieve social justice.